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The Lon Chaney Story


bertramgibbs

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I think it is time for TMC to create an original miniseries, based on the life of Lon Chaney. It would be done in three parts (two if condensed). Part one would focus on his early formative years in Colorado Springs, CO., Chaney's parents, Chaney's handling being the son of deaf mutes (showing how that formed his acting ability) and move onto his formal theatrical training, his years and a dancer and entertainer, his life with Cleva Creighton, ending with her attempted suicide, and his decison to move to the West coast.

 

Part two would focus on his early silent films, his legendary makeup, his relationship with his son, his marriage and life with Hazel Hastings, the actors around him, the stagehands, the studio and his climb to fame, ending with working on 'Hunchback'.

 

Part three would start with the making of 'Hunchback', his latter films, ending with his death.

 

In order to do this effectively, you would need an actor that looks like someone you'd pass on the street and give no notice to, which would accentuate Chaney's ability to use his body as a canvas to create characters. You would also need the talents of a Westmore to recreate the characters Chaney played throughout the years.

 

This would be more factual than 'Man of a Thousand Faces' with James Cagney (which I think is a splendid film), and undoubtedly a better film. You would use information contained in the two books by Michael F. Blake, 'Lon Chaney: The Man Behind the Thousand Faces' and 'A Thousand Faces' for details of Chaney's life.

 

Just due to my nature, I have already written the opening sequence, leading into the story. I'm curious if others feel that this idea would work.

 

Bertram Gibbs

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